There isn’t much that everyone agrees on any more, but the fact that 2020 is a year unlike any other is pretty much a unanimous belief. No one knows what to expect with the next sunrise. What new twist will we all be hit with? This uncertainty is rushing NFL teams toward a fast approaching make-or-break moment. Sunday brings a big deadline for NFL teams.
Time To Face The Music
Covid-19 has changed just about every detail this NFL season. There are condensed camps and no off-season program to speak of. A litany of new rules and regulations have faced every club and one of those league edicts looms large. If a player tests positive for Covid-19 or is close to someone that tests positive, they must sit out for a minimum of two weeks.
This Sunday is two weeks before regular season (actually, it was last Thursday for the Chiefs and Texans). If a player, or someone close to them, tests positive after Sunday they will begin missing regular season games.
The clock is ticking. There is a good chance that there will be teams harshly impacted by this league order after Sunday. To this point a player would miss practice, but could still at least be a part of team meetings virtually.
No Diamonds In The Rough
With no preseason teams will not have film on rookies from other teams. When they are cut it will be much less likely for any NFL club to find gems in the pool of released players. Veterans that know the system will be far more valuable to a team.
Another factor impacting teams is that before any player joins a new team there is a brand new complication. It takes about 4 days to process a new player onto your roster with Covid-19 protocol. This throws a serious wrench at teams that have to deal with injuries throughout the season. Instead of signing with a new team on Monday, getting your playbook immediately and hitting the practice field on Tuesday a player now won’t even be truly available to a new team until Thursday at the earliest. That basically disqualifies the player from that team for the week.
A Little Relief
This makes practice squads critical to each team and the NFL has made allowances for this problem by allowing teams to stash up to seven veterans on their practice squad this season. This provides very little relief for teams, but at least it offers some hope. It may only be a one week band-aid for teams in trouble.
Teams are facing a critical time where injuries become even more devastating than usual and a Covid-19 test can leave a team with a gaping hole for at the very least one regular season week. Sunday brings a big deadline for NFL teams that no club wants to face, but here it comes. The clock is ticking toward a very critical moment, or so it seems From the Cheap Seats.